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Nate: Interesting article


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http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/10/missionary_doctors_treating_ebola_in_africa_why_people_are_suspicious_of.html

 

 

Thought this was a fair article written by an atheist.  I understand the discomfort he has.  Knowing a decent amount about at least two clinics in Africa I also know that the care and quality is extremely important to the staff. 

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Thanks for posting.  I don't really agree with him.

 

I fall into the "they are doing what many aren't willing to" category.  He also didn't have anything to show that these missionaries are doing more harm than good.  In general I think they have done a great deal to improve the health of the region over the last 50 years.

 

I do understand his hesitancy to accept them because they may be under qualified to do the job and in some cases might be substituting religious medicine for real medicine.  I doubt that is the majority though.  I would be just as suspicious of the official medical clinics in the region.

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Yeah, I think they need to worry more about the government clinics that are supposed to have some oversight.  In many places the locals will travel 3 times as far to avoid those places.  Many are scary, scary pits.

 

That isn't to say that all mission clinics are awesome, I'm sure there are some out there that aren't.  But usually they have more people looking at them than the government ones do. 

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Also, it isn't like these clinics are advertised as "John's totally not religious mega health clinic."  I have seen a few documentaries about them and they always have a cross and have some sort of reference to a saint or God or Jesus.  If you go to one and are surprised that the doctor proselytizes a bit, you aren't paying attention.  Plus who cares if you get good medical care?

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Yeah, I think they need to worry more about the government clinics that are supposed to have some oversight.  In many places the locals will travel 3 times as far to avoid those places.  Many are scary, scary pits.

 

That isn't to say that all mission clinics are awesome, I'm sure there are some out there that aren't.  But usually they have more people looking at them than the government ones do. 

 

Yeah, I would think that mission clinics are more like Free Clinics here.  

 

The scary thing is, that government clinics are probably run with little oversight.  Heck, I wonder how  many government or whatever run clinics have actual doctors.  And who those doctors are certified by.  Their care of service might be posting on AW.com and asking for medical advice.

 

At least with the missionary clinics, the doctors are doctors somewhere in the world.  U.S., Britain, Canada, etc.  So while they they may be underequipped and such, at least they won't send someone with Ebola, home with cold medicine.  oh wait, scratch the U.S. off the list.

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Also, it isn't like these clinics are advertised as "John's totally not religious mega health clinic."  I have seen a few documentaries about them and they always have a cross and have some sort of reference to a saint or God or Jesus.  If you go to one and are surprised that the doctor proselytizes a bit, you aren't paying attention.  Plus who cares if you get good medical care?

 

Crap, I hope I don't get sick then.  Because I'd have to go to St Vincents.  

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I would assume that all the locals know what's what with their available medical facilities and that most would prefer the missionary clinics by default. Even in a place as wealthy as Saudi the state run hospitals a a disaster. There's no oversight of the money allotted so way too much of it gets pocketed. The staff are overworked and underpaid. Those who go to state run clinics do so because they have no other choice.

 

When you think about it, there's only a few things that would motivate a person to leave his home and work for next to nothing in poor conditions. Obviously religion is at the top of that list. When searching for a place to get medical care in Africa I wonder how many times you see a crescent atop the building instead of a cross? Probably not many.

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a married couple that i went to college with recently ended their medical missionary work in nigeria after some 25 years there. he was chief of staff at the adventist hospital in country. things deteriorated there politically so they decided it was best for them to finally leave.

 

gail, the wife, comes from a missionary family - her parents served for a couple of decades in peru. herb, the husband, also comes from a missionary family. their two daughters couldn't stand being away from nigeria - it's where they were raised and it was home to them. it's been a tough transition for the girls to move to the US for the first time in their lives.

 

gail and herb did a lot of quality medical work in their area (Ile Ife was the name, as i recall). adventists have a long history of medical missionary work in africa and india, as well as in the pacific islands. we've always thought our reputation was solid, healing mind and soul. i hope others think the same thing.

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One passage that stuck with me was this one:

 

In his Lancet article, Lowenberg quotes a missionary who insists he does not proselytize, even though he tells his patients, “I’m treating you because of what God has given me and his love for me.” That statement—which strikes me as obvious proselytizing— suggests that some missionaries are incapable of separating their religious work from their medical work. Whether implicitly or explicitly, some missionaries pressure their patients, at moments of maximum vulnerability and desperation, to convert. That troubles me. I suspect that many others have the same visceral discomfort with the mingling of religion and health care.

 

To me this seems like overreaction on the part of the author. I see nothing in this as a "pressure to convert", nor did I detect any threat, either direct or implied, that the patient would not receive treatment or would receive inferior treatment if he or she did not unquestioningly accept everything that the doctor or nurse said. I see nothing wrong with also offering the comfort of faith, and leaving it up to the patient as to whether to accept it or not.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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This is an interesting article I came across recently, called "As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God."

 

http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/3502-matthew-parris-as-an-atheist-i-truly-believe-africa-needs-god

 

There's also this study, published in the secular American Political Science Review, that found "conversionary Protestant missionaries" were "a crucial catalyst initiating the development and spread of religious liberty, mass education, mass printing, newspapers, voluntary organizations, and colonial reforms, thereby creating the conditions that made stable democracy more likely" in many parts of the world.

Edited by Taylor
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"In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts."

Yea and in some cases makes them hateful murderers.

You guessed wrong MT.

 

Then your myopia toward Christianity is pretty sad if that is what you got out of it.  How many people have died from that law in Uganda?  How many people have missionary hospital and clinics saved in Africa and around the world?

 

Bottom line is that however idiotic, unbiblical, misguided and plain stupid that law in Uganda is it will never wipe out all of the good that has been done.  So I'll pass on your sanctimonious, judgemental bs.

Edited by mtangelsfan
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